Vietnamese court convicts illegal online gambling operators

News on 1 Dec 2018

The dismantling of a major Vietnamese illegal online gambling ring involving senior police generals late last year (see previous reports) was re-visited in a Vietnamese court Friday when 92 defendants were convicted and sentenced to various terms of prison and fines after a three-week trial.

Two senior police generals among the defendants attracted the most media attention in the People’s Court of the northern province of Phu Tho, which sentenced former General Director of the Ministry of Public Security General Police Department Phan Van Vinh to nine years imprisonment for abuse of authority, and  former Director of the MoPS’s Hi-tech Crime Police Department Nguyen Thanh Hoa to 10 years in jail on similar charges.

Both men were additionally fined 100 million VND (US$ 4,300).

The police generals were accused of indirectly facilitating crimes and covering up the commission of crimes by Nguyen Van Duong and Phan Sao Nam, principals in the gambling ring who were also sentenced on Friday.

Nguyen Van Duong, former chairman of the Members Council of the Hi-tech Security Development and Investment Co. (CNC), was handed 10 years in jail, including five years for “organising gambling” and five years for “laundering money.”

Phan Sao Nam, former chairman of the Board of Directors of the VTC Online Telecommunications Co. (VTC Online), will also spend the next five years in jail, including two years for “organising gambling” and three years for “laundering money.”

The court’s 400-page judgment details charges for “using the Internet to appropriate assets”, “organising gambling”, “illegal gambling”, “illegally trading invoices”, and “laundering money.”

Our readers will recall that over the more than two years the illegal online gambling ring was operational it built a player base of over 42.95 million who wagered US$ 425 million and delivered profits in excess of US$ 200 million.

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